US states plan trade missions to India

By Arun Kumar


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Washington : A large number of American states are planning trade missions to India in the near future after the success of the largest ever trade delegation from the state of Virginia, the US-India Business Alliance (USIBA) has said.

"We believe that person-to-person dialogue between key US state representatives as well as policymakers and captains of industry in India would further enhance trade between the two nations," Sanjay Puri, president, USIBA said Tuesday.

"At USIBA, we see an extraordinary potential for two-way investments in India and Virginia, especially considering India's almost double-digit growth rate and the recent rating of Virginia as the country's most business-friendly state," he said.

"Virginia is already becoming a state of choice for India's information technology companies to set up base in the US, and this delegation has only enhanced the state's reputation."

"We will be facilitating many more trade missions for other states in the near future to further the cause of US-India trade relations," Puri added.

USIBA is an independent business alliance committed to strengthening commercial, economic and financial ties between India and the US. It is chaired in America by former House Majority Leader, Richard Armey, and co-chaired in India by Salman Khurshid, former minister for external affairs and Arun Shourie, former minister for divestment and communications and information technology.

The 70-member trade mission from Virginia reflecting the tremendous interest shown by the government of Virginia as well as the state's private sector enterprises in India's burgeoning economy was to be led by Governor Timothy Kaine.

However, Kaine had to cancel his visit because of the massacre at the Virginia Tech University. But he has commended USIBA for supporting the delegation in terms of logistics and setting up meetings between the delegation and key Indian government officials.

"On behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia, I thank USIBA for the invaluable support it has offered," he said in a letter to USIBA.

This year, USIBA has also supported trade delegations from other states such as Alabama and New Mexico.